22 July 2019 - Deborah Wilkes
GNC says it may close up to 900 stores, Shop Apotheke Europe has released financial results for the first half of 2019, Phoenix has released results for the first quarter of its financial year, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has elected a new president.
GNC comments on store closures
GNC looks set to close as many as 900 stores as part of its ongoing store-optimisation programme. Chairman and chief executive officer Ken Martindale said it was likely that GNC would "end up closer to the top end of its original optimisation estimate of 700-900 store closures".
The US-based health, wellness and performance retailer said current traffic trends in shopping malls meant GNC's stores in malls could be reduced by almost a half. This would cut the number of mall stores from a little over 800 today to closer to 400-500 over the long-term, said chief financial officer Tricia Tolivar.
As of 30 June 2019, GNC had around 8,000 retail locations, of which around 5,900 were in the US. The company said it had an international presence in around 50 countries.
GNC reported revenue of USD534 million in the second quarter of 2019, representing a fall of 13.5% compared to the same period a year earlier.
The company said the fall was partly due to the transfer of the Nutra manufacturing business into a newly-formed manufacturing joint venture with International Vitamin Corporation plus the transfer of the China business into the joint venture with China's Harbin Pharmaceutical Group. In addition, negative same-store sales and the closure of company-owned stores as part of the store-optimisation programme contributed to the decline.
Shop Apotheke Europe up by a third
Shop Apotheke Europe's sales increased by 32% to EUR338 million (USD377 million) in the first half of 2019.
The Netherlands-based online pharmacy said sales in its DACH segment – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – had reached EUR298 million, up by 27% compared to the same period a year earlier. Shop Apotheke Europe said the introduction of electronic prescriptions in Germany was expected to have a positive impact on its results.
Sales in the International region – covering Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain – increased by 83% to EUR40 million.
Shop Apotheke Europe said the number of active customers had risen by 50% year-on-year to 4.2 million.
Phoenix releases results
Germany's Phoenix reported a total operating performance – comprising revenue and handling for service charge – of EUR8.32 billion (USD9.26 billion) in the three months ended 30 April 2019. This represented a rise of 4.1% compared to the same period a year earlier.
The wholesaler and retailer said revenue had increased by 3.9% to EUR6.56 billion. Excluding the impact of currency translations, revenue was up by 6.0%.
Growth was driven in part by the acquisition on 31 July 2018 of the Romanian pharmaceutical wholesaler Farmexim and its national pharmacy chain Help Net Farma. The deal took the German company into the Romanian market (click here to read the News story).
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 16.7% to EUR108 million.
Phoenix operates more than 2,500 of its own pharmacies in 14 countries. The wholesaling business of Phoenix operates in 27 countries.
RPS elects new president
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has elected Sandra Gidley as its new president, replacing Ash Soni.
Gidley was previously chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board.